A break in the rain inspires an outing, and we grab our cameras and jackets and head north along the main highway. We are looking for signs to the Englishman River Falls. The route is well marked.
This drive, like many others we have taken, is lined by tall trees, taking us deep within the rainforest.
“The island gets in your blood,” others have warned me. I can feel it happening.
We park in the generous lot provided and head to the marked path.
“Is is a long hike to the falls?” Ric asks a man and woman just returning from their outing.
“A stone’s throw.”
We can already hear the roar of the water. We pass a picnic area, ascend a small incline and see a pedestrian bridge ahead. To our right are stairs leading to a lookout, and just past, the falls – a torrent of water rushing over giant boulders, cascading far below.
We ready our cameras and eagerly step out onto the bridge and the combination of water, sound and height throws me into vertigo. I grip the railing and will myself to focus on the lens view. This scene is too fantastic to miss.
Ric lingers for more pictures and I wander back onto solid ground, following the path on the other side of the falls. I find myself alone in a sea of green, and I feel like I’ve been transported to another universe. Time and resilience has preserved the sanctity of this place that was once home to Native Peoples. Reverence fills me.
Here, deep in the woods, the clear waters of a small creek trickle by, and even though I am alone, I sense a presence. I search about for the source, but there are only shadows – distorted images playing tricks on my mind. I return to the falls.
Ric’s knees are so bad that he doesn’t last long, and I know he’s likely waiting for me in the truck.
We drive away in silence, another piece of the island seeping into our blood.